HMS Caroline, Belfast

HMS Caroline is a light cruiser situated in Belfast, North Ireland. HMS Caroline was a light cruiser for the Royal Navy, serving as an administrative center in the Second World War. She was withdrawn from service in 2011 whereby then she was the second oldest cruiser in Royal Navy service. A traditional ceremony was held during her decommissioning, and the ensign was placed in St Anne’s Cathedral in Belfast, North Ireland. Later in 2017, she was opened to the public as a museum ship. HMS Caroline is famous for surviving the Battle of Jutland, which was between the Royal Navy Grand Fleet and Imperial German Navy High Seas Fleet.

HMS Caroline fought the Battle of Jutland under a light cruiser called Squadron. In 1922 She went into Reserve Fleet, which belonged to Royal Navy, where a vessel would be prepared for the next war. Two years later, she came out of the reserve to be a training ship and headquarters for Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve Ulster at Belfast, North Ireland.

HMS Caroline is registered as part of the National Historical Fleet and is moored in the Alexandra Dock in Belfast. However, there were proposals to move her for her First World War appearance; the proposal was rejected by the Northern Ireland government and instead released funds under National Heritage Memorial Fund to restore her and make her a tourist attraction.

However, the ship has undergone some renovations as most of its parts fell apart, mainly from a storm in 2005. Ever since its opening to the public, people enjoy the history of the famous war, the Battle of Jutland, why Harland and Wolff of Belfast took out the HMS Caroline weapons and some of her boilers immediately after she arrived in Belfast. The locals enjoy this piece of history and frequent the museum a lot. Things to enjoy are the captain’s cabin, the engine room, Royal Marines Mess, and even the kitchen. The ship has a cafe at the mess deck where visitors can rest and enjoy a drink. There are audio guides and visual displays to give one an idea of the horrors of the seamen during battle. The HMS Caroline had three mascots which were two cats and a wild-looking rabbit. The function of the cats was to keep the ship from rats and mice, the rabbit didn’t have a significant role, but the seamen had a superstition that the welfare of the mascots would determine their safe return.

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